Justice League Movie Review by MarcTheLoneGamer

Posted in Action Adventure, Movies, My Stuff on November 16th, 2017 by thelonegamer

DC’s iconic heroes come together.

It’s finally freakin’ here. Justice League by Zack Snyder brings together the iconic heroes of DC Comics in an enjoyable cinematic superhero romp that makes me excited for the future.

MILD SPOILERS AHEAD!

Set some time after the events in the controversial Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League sees a world (well, we assume its the whole world though mostly scenes we see are in the US) in mourning and depression since the death of Superman (or The Superman). As set up in the previous film, Bruce Wayne AKA Batman (Ben Affleck, whom I see as the best Bats since Michael Keaton) is trying to put together a team to fight a vague coming threat from ‘far away’. Alongside him is the Amazon Princess/demigod Diana Prince AKA Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot, radiant as usual), who has thus far been fighting crime as well but keeping even more secretive than even Batman (unless there’s some French gendarmes looking for a super mademoiselle behind the scenes). There are three prospective candidates- Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman (Jason Momoa), a mysterious seaborne benefactor of some isolated island communities, Victor Stone AKA Cyborg (Ray Fisher) a cybernetically-enhanced son of a scientist, and Barry Allen AKA The Flash (Ezra Miller), a super-speedster. Against them is the monstrous Steppenwolf (a CG character voiced by Ciaran Hinds), an otherworldly warrior who is seeking to bring together the three ‘Mother Boxes’ that will reshape the Earth into a living hell for his (as yet unseen) master, Darkseid. With the recent death of Kal-El AKA Clark Kent AKA Superman (Henry Cavill), does even the hastily-gathered heroes of Earth stand a chance against this alien invasion?

First off, if you have been watching showbiz news online or elsewhere about superhero films, you’ll know this film has had a rocky history coming to screen. The DCEU films haven’t exactly been tearing the aisles up like their rivals in Marvel, with flops like Green Lantern and controversial hits/misses like Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman. It all kinda changed with Wonder Woman, which wowed both critics and audiences (and this reviewer) and set a new tone for the previously monochromatically-toned DC films- Yes, DC, not ALL your superheroes need to be gritty like Batman.

Even more, there have been behind-the scenes events such as Zack Snyder having to depart the film due to personal tragedy, extensive rewrites by former Marvel films director Joss Whedon, reshoots and all sorts of hooplah.

You know what? THROW ALL THAT CRAP OUT.

Come into this film with no baggage, and you’ll enjoy yourself. I did, and I LOVE the flick immensely.

Justice League is a pretty solid live-action version of the much-beloved DC animated series of the same name. You have an Alien Threat that is bigger than any of Earth’s heroes individually, which requires them to come together in a team. Each member comes in with their own personal ghost or issue to deal with as they strive to work as one. Affleck’s Batman is still wracked by guilt with his role in Superman’s death (although it was clearly the Cave Troll AKA Doomsday that killed him) and must also overcome his usual ‘I work alone’ modus and be a leader. As the single member who actually has no powers (but he’s RICH), Batman is still prepared to give his all- perhaps even more.

Wonder Woman, the one woman and herself rivaling Superman in power is the team’s heart and moral compass. Conceivably she can lead the boys herself, but chooses not to due to her own personal demons- something that has also kept her in the shadows for decades. Cyborg was given a new life by the alien Mother Box (a change from the comics), giving him his abilities and a link to the enemy- something that makes him feel that he’s a monster himself. Aquaman is a loner and has his own personal struggles beneath the seas in Atlantis. Finally, Barry Allen is a friendless youngster who is still trying to find his footing (ha), dealing with having a father in prison. How they all face and overcome their issues and become a team, interacting with each other makes this film as interesting as the actual battles with alien Para-demons.

The film’s casting is pretty spot-on. Of course, that is already obvious with Affleck and Gadot (and of course, Henry Cavill). But Ezra Miller’s Flash is a refreshingly earnest, giddy and humorous take on the character, very much like Spiderman: Homecoming’s Peter Parker in his wide-eyed amazement at all things superheroic that he’s seeing. Almost everyone else is a veteran, but Flash is once again the audience’s eyes, and the film’s welcome comic relief for the most part.
Ray Fisher as Cyborg is given one of the harder roles- his character is a second-tier hero, not usually affiliated with the Justice League in comics. However, he has a central role in this story given his link to the Mother Boxes. Fortunately, the actor gives a fine performance and keeps up with the rest as the one with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Still, fans of the Teen Titans series will enjoy him as well as his final line.
Jason Momoa’s Aquaman looks incredibly different from the comics, but I find the redesign, the look and the character as tonally perfect. He’s badass and strong, but he gets to give in some comedic moments that show off Momoa’s timing quite well. He and Wonder Woman take the brunt as the team’s muscle, and he has a couple of awesome scenes (which unfortunately are pretty much spoiled in trailers).

There has been much talk in other reviews about Steppenwolf, the film’s CG-only antagonist. As usual, many critics point to him as being another weak villain. I can’t totally disagree, as Steppenwolf is definitely one note and pretty much just a big brawny boss in terms of videogame terms.

However, I think he works. Steppenwolf isn’t the Big Bad in the big scheme of things- he’s a herald, an envoy. He’s a taste of things to come. Heck, even in the Avengers the Chitauri aliens were just goons with guns. Steppenwolf at least is an imposing figure, and he takes up a big body count before the film is done. Steppenwolf doesn’t need to be deep- he just needs to feel like a threat, and he certainly is. I think that Ciaran Hinds’ voice work is solid, although I guess more could have been done to give him more depth (humor even?)- perhaps we could have seen more personal motivations? His true thoughts of his master/nephew Darkseid? But then, this film was cut down to under two hours. Maybe in the extended cut we’ll see more sides to our Monster of the Movie.

Finally… SUPERMAN.

Yes, SPOILER ALERT… Superman comes back in this flick. I won’t spoil how or when. But when he does, he makes an impact. I’ll go to say that Cavill’s Clark Kent in this film is even BETTER than any of the animated versions of Superman, or even the live-action versions with respect to Christopher Reeve. Cavill’s Superman IS THE Superman, here in this movie.

FINALLY he comes back seemingly without any more of the mopey emo BS he had in BvS, and I hope they continue with that. Superman needs to be awesome, and here he finally IS.

The action in this flim is pretty great, with some setpiece action scenes that are pretty marvelous- Steppenwolf’s attack on Themyscira is amazing, although I wish the Amazons really got better weapons by now (bows and arrows versus lazer guns?), or at least were shown to be superhuman in skill relative to humans. The flashback battle of the Ancients versus Steppenwolf’s first invasion was near LOTR scale in epicness. Plus every encounter between the League and Steppenwolf was pretty cool- as well as the final minutes. BADASS.

As I said, forget all the side crap, the preconceptions, the biases and even any negative reviews. Justice League is grade-A, First Rate Superhero Fun, in my book just as good as The Avengers as a team flick. It’s not perfect, but then what is? It’s good and solid, optimistic and light but with enough gravitas to make you feel. Most of all, and perhaps most importantly, it makes me excited for what’s to come in the DCEU’s future. They way they end it, they could conceivably end it right there (although the end-credits scene already looks to a sequel) nicely, but I say this film deserves to hit and hit big.

Because I want more Batman. I want more Wonder Woman. I want more Man of Steel. The Aquaman and Flash movies, even the Cyborg movie. Bring them on. I WANTS IT ALL.

Movie Rating: 4 of 5
If you don’t go in hating this flick or expecting to hate it, you’ll like it. Jokes and levity are hit and miss, but overall it’s good, solid, classic Superhero team-building fun with the DC heroes at their best. Oh, and don’t leave until the end of the credits to not miss the two extra scenes.

Logan (2017) Movie Review by The Lone Gamer

Posted in Action Adventure, Movies, My Stuff on March 6th, 2017 by thelonegamer


Wolverine’s last(?) film is gloriously depressing, exhilaratingly violent.

Has it really been 15 years? Yep, fifteen years since we first saw Aussie actor Hugh Jackman take the role of Canadian X-man and arguably the most famous and beloved mutant of all, Wolverine AKA Logan. From the original X-men film by Bryan Singer, to X2: X-men United, X3 The Last Stand, X-men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine and X-men: Days of Future Past, we’ve seen the triple-clawed warrior slash his way through evil mutants, commandos, cyborgs, ninja and giant robots- who’d have thought it would be his own secret weapon- his adamantium skeleton- that would be his downfall? Reuniting with fellow X-men mainstay Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier, Logan takes us into the waning days of a beloved comic book-turned-film hero. The result is depressingly glorious but strangely satisfying.

Sometime in the future, we are reintroduced to Logan= The Wolverine- a once infamous superhero and mutant, but now noticeably older, more scarred and looking more vulnerable than we’ve ever seen him. No longer a scion of Xavier’s School, or even a care-free drifter- ‘Old’ Logan is now apparently working as a Limo driver for some kind of Uber service. A scuffle with some car thieves near the border with Mexico reveals that Logan isn’t as formidable as he was before, but he’s still go the claws, and when he connects it does DAMAGE.
Unfortunately, it is soon learned that Logan is dying. His adamantium skeleton- since time immemorial his claim to fame and invulnerability- is now poisoning him, causing his incredible healing factor to slow and even fail. And he’s not the only one on his last legs. We learn that Professor Xavier is also still alive, cared for by Logan and the living mutant-detector Caliban (Stephen Merchant) in an abandoned factory, the Professor being housed in a huge metal silo in an effort to contain his often-out-of-control telepathy. Stricken by Alzheimer’s and dementia, Xavier’s mind can potentially release a lethal, paralyzing psychic attack in a wide radius unless he takes regular medication. In fact, we learn (in no ready detail) that one such psychic episode was responsible for the deaths of many of the X-men (and presumably the decline of the School). Now all Logan and Charles have to look forward to is a hopeful solitary, final vacation out to sea- if Logan can gather the funds to buy them a boat.

But of course, that isn’t to be as Logan is soon sought out by a woman named Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez), who pleads with Logan to take her and a girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) to North Dakota. Laura is soon revealed to be a mutant- the first seen by Logan and Charles in years (mutants having seemingly gone extinct in the last several years for some reason), and she’s naturally being pursued by the ones who created her. So now it’s up to Logan, a dying warrior who just wants to slink into a dark hole to die quietly in peace, to find what remains of himself within to protect the next generation of mutants from some truly despicable villains.

Taking inspiration from films like Unforgiven, Logan is in some ways a breaking down of the superhero movie- the film itself takes potshots at itself, with Logan remarking at how X-men comics don’t actually show the real deal. Nope, not at all. In Logan, heroes aren’t clean and flawless and always save the day… they can die, and along the way, other people, even good people, can get caught in the crossfire with them. Somehow though, there is still redemption to be found even if everything is at its bleakest and there’s no happy ending in sight. Just lots of blood and more blood.

Logan is a gloriously depressing road trip movie- certainly a radical departure from all the previous X-men films, and it prospers because of it. The down-and-dirty, R-rated action is never truly gory or gratuitous, and at times is quite satisfying thanks to how truly needing of some much-deserved killing the baddies are. Jackman and Stewart, as the franchise mainstays, decisively give their onscreen characters their most memorable performances. In no other film is the bond between Logan and Prof. X this more profound and touching. As X-23 AKA Laura Kinney, Dafne Keen is eye-catching and amazing in the fight scenes- one hopes that perhaps there will be future romps with her, but only time will tell.

I’ll admit, I would have wished for a slightly less depressing conclusion to Logan, but then again, the guy’s had over 200 years to walk the earth, and he’s made his three-clawed mark on it many, many times. You’ve earned your retirement, Wolverine. What a way to go.

Logan (2017)
The Lone Gamer’s Movie Rating: 4 of 5

New Ghost in the Shell Trailer hits!

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Fan Service, Movies on February 13th, 2017 by thelonegamer


Scarlett Johansson is The Major coming this March.

Ever since its announcement and subsequent casting of actress Scarlett Johansson, the live-action version of the anime Ghost in the Shell has been controversial. Of course there’d be hubbub over having an American in the role of a Japanese anime character named Motoko Kusanagi (I think they just call her The Major in the film). One would wonder though if a film starring a Japanese actress (Rinko Kikuchi perhaps? Maggie Q?) would be more successful with decidedly less star power. Hell, we don’t even know even with Miss Johansson that GITS will be a hit.

The second trailer shows off more previously-unseen footage along with the now-familiar scenes of The Major in her ‘naked’ bodysuit and the nightmare-fuel mecha geishas. But now there’s a bit more talking and some bits of the plot. While the film does share some scenes with the original film and manga (some, like the confrontation with the gunman at the waterway seem painstakingly-reproduced), the overall storyline seems to have been simplified a bit, or at least made with The Major more central to the story. It seems more of Kusanagi seeking her actual identity, rather than the more existential jargon in the anime. I guess it may take a bit of fixing to make the original’s concepts and musings about what corporates being human more easy to digest (the anime tended to be very long-winded in exposition). There’s Blade Runner-esque imagery, some cool action and a hot lady in a form-fitting bodystocking… what’s not to love?

Well, we’ll see if this is a hit or a hack this March. Ghost in the Shell also features Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki and Pilou Asbæk as Batou.

Kingsglaive: The Lone Gamer’s Movie Review

Posted in Action Adventure, Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy XC, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies, My Stuff on September 18th, 2016 by thelonegamer


Well, at least it’s much better than Spirits Within.

As the gaming world counts the weeks to the late November release of the long-in-development Final Fantasy XV, gamers all over have a wide selection of material to occupy their attention before the actual game hits. Of course there’s the anime OVA series, FFXV Brotherhood (nowhere near as good as FMA Brotherhood, I assure you), which is of course made to introduce us to the heroes of the game- Prince Noct of Lucis and his roadies. Kingsglaive, a fully-CG animated film, is another such prologue, though much more immediate to the events within the game.

As the opening seconds of the movie roll in with the familiar voice of Lena Heady (our most beloved mad queen of Westeros) giving narration, we are introduced to the big players- Lucis is the ‘peaceful kingdom of magic’ while opposite them is The Empire of Nifleheim, a militaristic nation powered by Magitek (ah, Magitek, we know you so well). The Empire of course is on the verge of total victory, with the capital city of Insomnia (really? A city is named after a sleeping disorder?) the only remaining bastion of Lucis’ control. After a flashback showing some tragic events that befall Lucis’ former ally, the country of Tenebrae, we get into the thick of action with the Kingsglaive.

The titular Kingsglaive are apparently Lucis’ main (or perhaps only) military force- not sure about how many, but there seem to be not many- certainly nowhere near a hundred strong. The Glaive are ‘mighty warriors’, all of whom are recruited from Lucis’ provinces (all of which are probably now under Empire control or attack) due to their ability to use magic. The magic they wield though comes from one source- the King of Lucis himself, King Regis (voiced by another GoT stalwart, Sean Bean). So who are the Glaive? They look kinda cool- very similar to Assassins from Assassins Creed, but in black and wielding one main weapon- a dagger or short blade which they use primarily to ‘Warp Strike’; as in, they throw the dagger and then can teleport to wherever the weapon goes. While it certainly LOOKS awesome, I find it highly impractical and sorta haphazard. I guess the Glaive are trained to be really good and accurate throwers, but come on- you’re limited by throwing range, the speed of the person’s arm, his accuracy, the fact that they can go wildly out of control (and many do in the course of the action) with a bad throw.

Anyway, in these couple of dozen or so fighters is Lucis’ main defense. What has the enemy got? Oh, aside from armies of certainly a lot more soldiers, both human and mechanical (armed with GUNS), they have Magitek war machines AND apparently controlled monsters (just like in the games!) which range from flying creeps and cannon fodder to larger beasts like a Cerberus (three-headed fire dog) and a smoky demon which also seems to be half mechanical. How a few guys with daggers is able to hold off such a force is beyond me. But well, somehow they do.

Or do they? At the moment of apparent defeat, the Empire withdraws, allowing the Kingsglaive to get a breather. Later on, the court of King Regis is visited by a strange visitor- the shabby but kinda cool-looking Ardyn Izunia, perhaps the first Final Fantasy villain ever to sport a fedora and what seems to be a beak on his right arm (really, WHAT THE HELL IS HE WEARING?). Ardyn brings an offer of peace- well, pretty much an armistice, which offers a stop to the war at the cost of Lucis surrendering all its territories save Insomnia itself. Oh, and the Prince must also marry the Princess Lunafreya, who has been an Imperial captive/ward all this time.

Of course, you just know that the Empire is up to no good, and from there it’s a nice build-up to the day of the treaty signing. In the meantime, we see ugly sides of Lucis, which utterly puzzle me. So the Kingsglaive are all recruited from non-residents of Insomnia… WHY are they regarded by Insomnians with an obvious racist disgust? They are DEFENDING YOU, IDIOTS. The Glaive themselves are not your picture of loyalty or unity either- of course, you have the gung-ho, fearless hero Nyx, his clumsy oaf of a best friend Libertus and the one hot girl, Crow. The rest are either faceless and unimportant or belligerent or smarmy. With their ranks thinned and dissent growing cracks in their resolve, in the Kingsglaive may lie the fate of Lucis as the Imperial plot soon unfolds.

First off, the movie is GORGEOUS. That much can be said readily. There’s a lot of detail in the characters, and its much improved from previous Final Fantasy films. Faces of many characters look great, and at least by this time we don’t really think uncanny valley that much any more. However, there seems to be a slight disjoint between lip syncing- or perhaps the mouths of characters don’t quite seem to jive with the words.

While the first half of the movie up to when the shit hits the fan, the movie is quite engaging. However, after a certain point and we head into an unwieldy final act, it all crumples into a mess of a pursuit/chase, and large scale “Giant Monster’ action and action that’s so zippy and flashy, it can only be described as anime. Things happen to characters that normal humans would not walk away from easily, betraying the CG nature of the actors and the world. And the action in the final battle, while pretty amazing, seems hollow, without weight and ultimately, unsatisfying.

But then, I guess Kingsglaive is not meant to satisfy. It’s here to set the stage- with the bad guys winning or on the upswing, while the heroes are- well, they’re not here. The real heroes are in the upcoming GAME, which you will need to play to get closure. I wonder though how closely they’ll keep this movie to the final game? In that way, I guess that while Kingsglaive has its faults, it was worth seeing and certainly has me stoked into kicking Imperial butt this November on my PS4.

Ghostbusters (2016): The Lone Gamer’s Review

Posted in Movies, My Stuff on July 17th, 2016 by thelonegamer

Perhaps never before has a film been so divisive and polarizing as this remake of the beloved classic flick it springs from. Online, many voices cry ‘FOUL!’ at the supposed disrespectful cash-grab from Sony, defended by SJW’s and feminists. I went into this wanting to see it for myself and decide for myself. I’ve seen reviews calling it horrible and not worth watching, while some rave, though most seem to agree it’s just an average comedy. Well, what do I think?

Ghostbusters (2016), directed by Paul Feig, is a reboot of the original 1984 film starring Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Ernie Hudson and the late Harold Ramis. This time, an all-female cast takes over- Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) play two former best friends and scientists who once shared dreams of investigating ghosts and paranormal phenomena, and have now reunited under less than friendly circumstances. Jillian Hostzmann (Kate McKinnon) is Abby’s assistant in her paranormal lab and an apparent mad inventor of ghost-extermination gear. Finally, joining the bunch along the way is streetwise Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), a subway attendant who has a ghostly encounter of her own.

As the new team comes together to investigate a sudden rise in paranormal activity and ghost sightings, they soon make the disturbing discovery that someone is actively causing this rise in ghost sightings for some reason. Unfortunately, things get a bit more complicated when the city mayor (Andy Garcia) decides adamantly to keep things under wraps to prevent panic, even if it means discrediting the female heroes.

All right, for starters, I don’t think this new Ghostbusters is as terrible as some are making it out to be. I do think that there is a bit of emotional baggage or nostalgia for the first flick that causes a natural dislike for this new film. That said, the film, as a comedy, is pretty hit-and-miss. Many of the jokes, gags and self-deprecating humor don’t really hit well and seem to just pass by in the midst of dead air. I understand that the leads are all talented and very funny actresses and comediennes, but here I think they’re pretty much hamstrung with pretty bad writing, in terms of the humor. You have a fart joke, some jokes about the group’s hunky new male secretary Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) being as dumb as a doorknob- no exaggeration, this guy seems to only have enough brain power to qualify him as a sentient being.

There’s another bit that probably elicits a lot of the anger out there for the film, and its that pretty much every male character is either an asshole or a moron. That’s how males act, as feminists would like to think, I guess.

Plot holes abound and pacing problems make things just seem uneven and awkward, with little satisfying explanation. The Ghostbusters begin their company by just stealing what lab equipment they can carry from their former campus. Then in a bit they seem to have enough nuclear material and components to create a Q-Branch’s worth of proton-throwing laser weaponry. One moment, we see physical comedy moments as these ladies fumble about with the obviously dangerous weapons rather carelessly- then later we see them taking out ghosts (how is it suddenly that these proton packs graduate from being instruments that are simply used to lasso or temporarily snare ghosts to outright DESTROYING them?) in the street in an action scene that would do the Avengers proud. It doesn’t seem earned or logical- it all just happens because hey, we’re in the third act and the ghostbusters gotta look cool killing ghosts.

I guess the most interesting part of the movie are the ghostbusters themselves- instead of a squad of model gorgeous heroines, we get a more colorful group of comedic talent. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are the straight people; Kate McKinnon’s Hotzmann is so offbeat and just plain weird in her mannerisms I seem to get a hunch that she’s ad-libbing most of her stuff and just doing improv, and it sometimes works, sometimes… not. Finally, Leslie Jones’ ‘token’ streetwise girl with the inevitable “HELL NO!” mannerisms may irritate for being such a stereotypical cliche character, but in honesty, I didn’t find her at all annoying.

The best parts of the film for me are some of the creepier ghost encounters- the first ghost, just before the rather tasteless vomit gag was well done. There’s a sequence with mannequins which is genuinely creepy and hilarious at the same time. And the endgame with the girls going toe-to-toe with a possessed Kevin was pretty cool.

The movie works when it is about these female ghostbusters actually taking on ghosts, at least before it devolves into the light show laser tag brawl at the end- the investigation, the creeps and actual ghost trapping was fine. The comedy in the context of these situations is fine. It’s when the script tries to be funny outside these situations which makes things feel like a half-baked SNL skit.

Oh, and the cameos… well aside from Tywin Lannister AKA Charles Dance having a role as Erin’s boss, most of the cast of the original Ghostbusters appear- not as themselves, but as totally different people. Perhaps one can just think that this film is not meant to replace the original- it’s just a different take in a different world and time of this same story. Updated with stuff like Youtube comments and cellphones, but well, that’s to be expected.

I do think that this flick has been made a rallying point by Feminists and SJW’s, and in turn hardcore fans of the original film and some He-man Women-Hater Clubs have just muddled the issue even more. The fact is, this film won’t erase the well-loved and popular original. I doubt that it will be that much of a hot topic in a few month’s time, unless Sony insists of making this a franchise. It’s not a horrible film, and I certainly had a bit of fun while all the while being aware of all the plot holes, leaps in logic and uneven comedy. It’s a Ghostbusters live-action cartoon. It’s light and fluffy and in general, really just overblown but harmless, as easily burst like a possessed giant balloon.
I would not be averse to seeing this same cast donning the proton packs again in a future adventure… but only with a much, MUCH better script (at least one worthy of the name Zuul).

BEST TRAILER EVER? Suicide Squad Official Trailer Hits!

Posted in Comics, Movies, My Stuff on January 21st, 2016 by thelonegamer


Trailer Perfection.

Yesterday, the first (the SDCC video was a teaser) full trailer for DC Comics’ Suicide Squad hit, and it certainly has become a HIT. Not since the amazing trailer for Sylvester Stallone’s Cliffhanger have I seen a trailer so perfect.
This early, on the strength of this magnificently-edited spot, people are already speculating this flick to be the blockbuster comic book flick of the year. Set to the gloriously upbeat rock classic Bohemian Rhapsody, the trailer features a wealth of screentime for more members of the titular Squad (whereas the SDCC teaser focused more on Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Will Smith’s Deadshot and Jared Leto’s Joker), showing characters Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, The Enchantress, El Diablo, Katana, Slipknot and Rick Flag.

The spot doesn’t give away too much (unlike the now-infamous Superman V Batman X Wonder Woman spot), but gives us just enough action and teasingly mysterious bits to have us all gagging with giddiness. It’s still quite far away (August 2016) but hell, I think I can just keep watching this trailer forever. I just hope that the final movie is just as fun as this spot lets on. But hey, even if it isn’t… it’s already a riot.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles is Live!

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Comics, Fan Service, Fantasy, Movies on June 9th, 2015 by thelonegamer


It’s Batman VS Harley Quinn in the first Gods and Monsters Chronicle.

In preparation for the release of the latest DC Animated Movie, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, Machinima will be posting several animated shorts- Gods and Monsters Chronicles- on Youtube. Each one will feature on one of the three iconic DC Superheroes- Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman- in their ‘new’ incarnations.

This week we see the new Bats in action- this isn’t your usual Billionaire with a Troubled Past- nope, THIS Batman is a bit more… feral. In fact, he’s an actual bloodsucking vampire. Which I guess makes him a perfect match for the action in this first Gods and Monsters Chronicle episode, ‘Twisted’. This 5-minute short throws Batman into a deadly fight with a much more brutal and murderous Harley Quinn.

Though the animation and art style is still pretty cartoony in the Bruce Timm style, it’s a couple of notches more gruesome than your usual TV fare, with some rather disturbing mementos found in Harley’s fridge, and corpses making up most of the scenery in her dank abode- heck, I think this Harley would make Hannibal Lecter cringe.

With action and a bit of fan service amped up in this debut episode, I am quite interested in seeing what lies in the rest of the Machinima eps, as well as the full Gods and Monsters feature flick. For now though, check out ‘Twisted’ for some bloody good Bat-on-Bad Girl action.

Mad Max Fury Road: The Lone Gamer Review

Posted in Action Adventure, Fantasy, Movies, My Stuff on May 19th, 2015 by thelonegamer


Love action? Cars? Post-apocalyptic action with cars? WATCH.

Last Sunday, I got to watch Mad Max: Fury Road, written and directed by the original himself, George Miller. Been intrigued and excited with this flick ever since the first trailer and now that I’ve watched it… Well.

As a bit of backstory, I’ve watched the second and third Mad Max flicks- I don’t believe I ever watched the first one. They’re cult-classics that have a degree of roughness to them, just like the lashed-together, haphazard vehicles, weapons and implements of this insane world.

We return to a perhaps familiar Post-Apocalyptic Australia where society has fallen, resources are scarce and warlords rule the wasteland. Enter Max Rockatansky, a wanderer and former cop with a heavy chip on his shoulder. Perhaps he is still the same character as previous films, but this time its Tom Hardy filling in his boots.

The grizzled road warrior has the foul fortune of being captured at the start of the film by the War Boys, the bald, white-skinned private army of Warlord Immorten Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, who coincidentally played Toe-Cutter in the previous Max films). Having O-Positive blood making him a universal donor, Max gets drafted into serving as a blood bag, or walking blood supply for one of the sick War boys, Nux (Nicholas Hoult).

We then see the personal kingdom Joe has made for himself, by virtue of him controlling a vast water source underground. Ruling with his army and deformed family members (Sons? Brothers?) serving as lieutenants, Joe has everything- farms producing greenery, water, women serving as virtual cows for Mother’s Milk (the food for the gods!) and an alliance with two other settlements providing crucial sources of gasoline and ammunition.

But his perfect world is suddenly rocked when he discovers that his most prized treasures- a quintet of beautiful women who serve as his Wives (or ‘Breeders’) have been stolen away from his vault, spirited off by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), one of his most trusted field commanders. Immediately, Joe mobilizes every able soldier and running vehicle in his army to bring back his possessions, and there is where Fury Road really begins.

What can I say about this movie? This is Action, Car and Post Apocalyptic Car Action as you’ve never seen it. Just the sight of the MAD vehicles running in this film are worth the price of admission- this is Road Warrior Porn. From the central War Rig- which is the main stage of the movie for most of its running time- to the many freaks of machinery like a huge mobile ROCK CONCERT complete with a flame throwing guitar playing in front (an army needs music to roll by after all), this will blow your mind.

Director George Miller truly set himself free in this one- in no other installment do we see so much of the world he has cooked up in his twisted imagination. There is more substance to it, like the evil utopia Immorten Joe has fashioned for himself. Like the religion he espouses, making himself god while his War Boys scramble to die in his service for the promise of eternal life in Valhalla. It makes so much sense it’s… insane. There are truly disturbing sights in this flick, but thankfully it never dwells too much on the more gruesome things, nor is the violence ever gory or overly brutal.

But adding true impact to the action is that most of it is real, practical effects. True enough, there ARE CG moments (probably during one truly heinous sandstorm from hell) but a lot are real, with real machines (all the cars are real running machines) and real stuntmen making these sights possible.
And whoa, there are fights and battles ongoing for most of this flick. I may say that of all the Mad Max films, this one takes the cake in action- less talk, more crash and burn, but still amazingly has more than enough story and depth to the characters and events happening onscreen.

With performances solid throughout- kudos to a tough-as-steel Charlize for making Furiosa both superhuman and human in her debut- she is pretty much Max’s equal and partner in this film. Kinda funny that Miss Theron is so gorgeous that even bald, covered in grease and oil, missing an arm and bloodied, she’s STILL gorgeous. There’s certainly a story behind this character, and who knows- if fates are kind and we are lucky, we may see Mad Max: Furiousa down the road.

Also impressing is Nicholas Hoult, whose War Boy Nux has his own mini-saga within this saga. Overall acting is solid even in a flick that is more action than emoting.

Tom Hardy is readily likable as Max- an understated badass man who lets his actions speak more for him. Is he better than Mel Gibson? That’s really too much to ask for anyone, and no person in his right mind would venture to say so. Suffice to say he makes for a stoic and solid Road Warrior whom I would love to see more of in future Mad Max flicks.

I had an utter blast watching this flick- paradoxically so beautiful as it is grotesque. Filmed with rock-solid clarity and vivid color, this is one action film that is so easy to love because in its quest for Fury Road, it DELIVERS. Nine out of TEN. Watch this in a theater and have yourself A LOVELY DAY!!!

New Hitman: Agent 47 Trailer

Posted in Action Adventure, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies on February 12th, 2015 by thelonegamer


Slick and videogame-esque. Perfect!

I have to admit, I kinda liked the first Hitman movie. Timothy Olyphant was an intense 47, and the lovely Olga Kurlyenko was a pleasure to see every second she was onscreen. But I guess there was something missing to it- a bit of stylish, visual panache that would give it a memorable punch. It also kinda gave off a B-movie vibe… but really, that doesn’t prevent me from keeping it on in the background if I catch it on cable.

Well, the new, upcoming film based on the franchise starring a bald, bar-coded assassin, Hitman: Agent 47 looks to fill in the special effects and visual slickness department. It seems to have everything from slow-mo gun-kata, big-budget hi-jinx and glossy high production destruction to spare. In this one, 47 is searching for the daughter of the man who started the ‘Agent Program’ which created him.

Hitman: Agent 47 stars Rupert Friend as Agent 47 and Zachary Quinto as John Smith, his on-screen adversary. The flick is set for release this coming August 2015.

Dead Fantasy’s Monty Oum Passes Away

Posted in Action Adventure, Dead or Alive, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Final Fantasy, Gadgets, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies on February 3rd, 2015 by thelonegamer


A Preview of Monty’s Dead Fantasy 8 at AKon22.

You may or may not have heard of the name Monty Oum, but if you surf the web a lot and watch anime, you may have seen some of the earlier work of this late web animator. He became known mostly for his cross-over Machinima videos, featuring characters from different franchises clashing together in battles you’d probably only see otherwise in fan fics or fanboy wet dreams- such as his first work, Haloid (bringing together Halo and Metroid) in 2007.


The Released episodes of the Dead Fantasy Series.

His most popular work is arguably the Dead Fantasy series, which threw together characters from the fighting game Dead or Alive against the heroes of Final Fantasy. It was all done using the actual models from the games, but with fight scenes and an eye for angles and dramatic effect that would do Hong Kong fight choreographers and anime directors proud. The Dead Fantasy series would go on for six episodes in the next few years, until Monty went into a prolonged hiatus, showing only brief previews of upcoming parts afterwards.
When Oum announced his employment with Rooster Teeth as a web series animator, his indie works were put on hold. Ten days ago, he was hospitalized and in a coma following a severe allergic reaction to a routine medical procedure. Despite all efforts including crowd-sourced funding to support him, Monty Oum passed away on Feb. 1, 2015. He was 33.

I don’t really know if the cool videos Monty created were art, but they were definitely entertainment and brought many a fanboy dreams to eye-opening reality. One can only imagine now if only he was given a chance to, at what he could have accomplished with his wonderful eye and imagination for action-fantasy. Thanks for the awesomeness, Monty.